Sprint sues AT&T, claiming deceptive use of the phrase ‘5G Evolution’

AT&T waived off industry-wide pressure to stop calling its 4G LTE services “5GE.” Now, Sprint is suing its competitor for false advertising.


February 11, 2019

Word of advice: Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. That’s what’s really cool.

AT&T has repeatedly “shushed” pressure from Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint to stop calling its 4G LTE Advanced cellular service “5G Evolution,” but now, Sprint’s taking it to the courts

In a federal lawsuit, Sprint claims that AT&T has bamboozled a majority of surveyed customers into believing that its 5GE service is at least as good as 5G.

5G-E(ventually)

Other carriers claim AT&T chose to muddy the difference between its late-stage 4G and early 5G technologies with the misleading ‘5GE.’ But AT&T claims it only uses the 5GE indicator to highlight potential connections to higher-speed 4G towers.

In other words: it’s not 5G yet, but someday!

Problem is, 54% of surveyed consumers believe AT&T’s 5GE is “the same as or better than a 5G network,” further contributing to Sprint’s argument that customers are getting duped. 

But AT&T isn’t backing down

“We feel very comfortable with how we’ve characterized the new service that we’re launching,” AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson told CNBC.

In a statement on Friday, AT&T claimed that while it understands its competitors’ frustration with its decision, its customers “love” it.

“We will fight this lawsuit while continuing to deploy 5G Evolution.” 

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